Everyone’s A Critic
Regarding Nicole Finkbiner’s review of Proof, playing at the Walnut Street Theatre:
I want to express my dismay over the awkward and amateurish review of Proof. At a time of tremendous growth in the scope and vitality of Philadelphia theater, it is crucial that theater criticism keep pace by rendering well-written and cogent reviews. This review of Proof did not, by any measure, achieve those goals. For starters, the body of the review consists of a plot summary which actually describes the dramatic climax. Any theater critic with a basic understanding of the craft knows this is a no-no. If that wasn’t bad enough, allowing this reviewer to commit the ultimate betrayal of comparing the performance to a movie must surely be called into question. Let alone the absurdity of comparing a performance that is rehearsed for three weeks and then delivered live to an audience free to choose where to focus their attention, to one that is crafted over months of takes and retakes with the camera lens choosing focus for us. To suggest that a theatergoer download the Netflix version suggests the reviewer is staggeringly oblivious to why people choose live theater over film in the first place.
Within the theater community we continually review and refine our standards for holding Barrymore Award voters accountable to their judgments. In this very active and robust theater region, we must expect the same measure of accountability and skill from those who are publicly critiquing that same work.
MARGIE SALVANTE, Executive Director, Theatre Alliance of Greater Philadelphia
Need for Weed
Regarding Randy LoBasso’s cover story about veterans seeking marijuana to combat PTSD:
Marijuana not being legal, is perhaps the biggest hypocrisy of the FDA and DEA. Hundreds, if not thousands of drugs are released for sale, long before there is actual proof of doing no harm. Marijuana has NEVER killed anyone. It doesn’t destroy your liver or your kidneys. It prevents dementia and tumor growth, even lung tumors caused by cigarette smoking. How many people get behind the wheel on a daily basis, while using opiates (Vicodin, Norco, etc.) without being threatened with a felony conviction?
PAULA B. SHORE, via philadelphiaweekly.com